KKK group gets permit for rally at Gettysburg battlefield

The Associated Press
on September 27, 2013 at 10:12 AM,

A Maryland-based Ku Klux Klan group received a special use permit to gather at the Gettysburg National Military Park, according to park officials.

The Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan plan to gather on the Gettysburg battlefield on Oct. 5 from 1 to 4 p.m., according to a news release from the National Park Service.

The rally, led by Richard Preston of Baltimore, will take place on the lawn area north of Gen. George Meade’s headquarters on Taneytown Road, the release states.

“The group requested the permit under the first amendment of the United States Constitution, which grants all citizens the rights to freedom of speech,” according to the release. “As custodians of land owned by the American people, the National Park Service has a responsibility to make that land available for exercising those rights.”

“It’s never been about racism. We’re not white supremacists, we’re white separatists. This is about America for Americans.” – Richard Preston

Preston, imperial wizard of the Confederate White Knights, said his group’s main initiative is removing President Barack Obama from office. “He’s never proven his U.S. citizenship,” Preston said of Obama. “We’re out for either his impeachment or proof that he isn’t a U.S. citizen.”

Preston said his group is also promoting stronger immigration laws. “This country is flooded with illegal immigrants who don’t belong here,” he said. “We want our borders closed and for the federal government to spend more time on getting illegals out of our country and stop trying to police the world when we can’t even police our own backyard.”

The Confederate White Knights gathered at Antietam National Battlefield on Sept. 7 in Sharpsburg, Md. An article in The Baltimore Sun reported that approximately 15 spectators attended the rally, put on by eight hooded individuals.

Preston said his group does not intend to harm or endanger anybody and that the klan is not about racism. “We just want people to come hear what we have to say,” he said. “It’s never been about racism. We’re not white supremacists, we’re white separatists. This is about America for Americans. The only thing we want is our country back.”

The park service news release stated that park staff will work to ensure that park resources and visitors will not be adversely affected by this event.

“Additional law enforcement agencies will assist the park to make certain that demonstrators, visitors and staff experience a safe atmosphere on the day of the event,” the release states.

A white supremacist group similar to the KKK, Aryan Nation, rallied at the Gettysburg battlefield in 2010. There was also a unity rally on the other side of town that served as an alternative gathering promoting peace and equality.

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